I was enjoying a wintery Saturday morning (something we haven't had here in the GTA for several weeks now) with my Cozy Memories Blanket and a cup of coffee and was checking out blogs, something I don't do nearly enough. Thankfully, one of the first I hit on was the fantastic Friday feature from Julie Crawford at Knitted Bliss.
This week's edition has a whole pile of excellent links (as always!, Julie does a great job) but the one that I was interested was from Interweave and about yarn trends for 2017. In an amongst the neon yarns and arm knitting was a great conversation about "How do we make more knitters" that touches on Pussyhats and yarn stores and has a great reflection on minimalism and how yarn stores might play off that trend for their benefit. The whole article is worth a read, and I would encourage you to do it.
In the section I was struck about how my feelings about my yarn stash have changed over the years. Like most knitters, when I first started knitting I was just manic about it, both the knitting and the stashing. Within my first few years my stash just ballooned. There were many reasons for that, but in large part it was about not wanting to miss out on special yarns. With indie dyeing at an all time high, there was a never ending buffet of amazing one of a kind yarns that I just had to have. While my stashing rate was consistently growing, my output wasn't keeping pace. While in the beginning you are churning out mittens, hats, cowls, shawls and an incredible rate, you begin to realize that you don't have enough hands, necks or heads to wear all those that you have made and if you are me, that really you have one favourite and wear it every day. So the stash keeps growing far faster than the pile of knitted objects. At a certain point you come to realize that things are out of control. You go "Cold Sheep" and swear to not buy anymore yarn till you knit what you have. But this never works, you want the newest yarn, that special limited edition base with that custom colour. And you buy it and stash it, because you have to use up the yarn in your stash, and when you finally find that special, just had to have it yarn it just another "stash yarn" you have to get through and you've forgotten why you just had to have it.
I don't know when I finally broke on the inside, but after having lived this cycle for longer than I'm willing to admit, my stash was unreasonable (for me!). I have divested myself of most of my yarn (and fiber, cause I spin too!) and now when I walk into a yarn store I might get something special; and plan to knit it next, before it becomes stash yarn.
So to the folks at Interweave, suggesting that yarn stores focus on quality over quantity, you have my attention because that's where I'm at right now. And while I'm not a new knitter who will go on a stashing spree, I'm happy to be a steady knitter who buys what she needs, and wants, when she needs or wants it, and will spend a few more dollars to get something special, because yarn is special.
Yarn is possibility and future, warm and wooly, and the best thing ever. Let's keep our yarn stores in business with thoughtful buying and stashing, and hopefully.